The story revolves around three teenagers with a desire to play basketball. Nomiya, being a high school dropout, has no future in his life. Engulfed by the guilt of crippling a girl in a traffic accident where he invited her on a bike ride finds himself in a deep predicament. Togawa, a former talented sprinter who once strove to become the best in Japan now putting his all in wheelchair basketball finds it hard to deal with the disinterest and psyche of his own teammates. Takahashi, once a popular and arrogant team leader, an honor student, a self proclaimed elite now finds himself being unable to move from the chest down. Real also deals with the reality of physical disabilities, and the psychological inferiority that the characters struggle against. The characters break through their own psychological barriers bit by bit.
REAL (リアル Riaru) is an ongoing seinen manga series, by Takehiko Inoue, which deals with wheelchair basketball. It has been serialised in Shueisha’s Young Jump and to date, 11 volumes have been published in Japan. “If you think Real is about basketball, you haven’t read it. It’s a series about adversity, friendship, and above all else, it is about life itself.” (thespectrum.net) This manga is more mature, realistic and heavier stuff than most manga.